Posted by PrestoPundit on 09/04/2008

From chat groups to blog forums, people all over the internet people are comparing Sarah Palin to Ronald Reagan.

Let’s talk first about ways in which Palin is better than Ronald Reagan.  Palin is more authentic than Reagan.  She talks more everyday, more real.  And she comes from a place most Americans understand.  It’s where they come from.  Ronald Reagan?  Not so much.  Reagan came from Hollywood, hung out with the super rich, and spoke in misty terms of a long ago Frank Capra America of the 20s and 30s that no longer existed.  Palin is girls basketball, raising a family, the PTA, racing, catching a fish — this is the sort of life most Americans can relate to because this is the world they themselves live in (with regional variations).  And Palin talks about this life not like its part of a Warner script, she talks about it like she’s living it right now — which she is. 

Palin is actually better also in speaking like an everyday person about the problems and tasks of producing good government.  Palin is “I don’t need a chef” real. Ronald Reagan was often in the lofty heights of American ideals and the principles of a free society.

And this takes us directly to where Reagan is better — really in a singular place of his own in American history.  Reagan has a seriousness and passion and love for the idea of America and the idea of liberty that was communicated brilliantly with jokes, with anger, with stirring images, with punchy sound bites, with tightly packed arguments, with sensible illustrations, with just the stuff to communicate the biggest and most important ideas of what the country is and could be.  Palin hasn’t attempted anything like this, and her personal biography doesn’t suggest she’ll ever match Reagan in this area.  But I’m guessing now one in my life time will — it takes a special personal background and a special unfolding of history to produce something like a Reagan on America and a free society.  The 20th century was unique — and the people it produced are unique — and let’s hope it remains unique.

UPDATE:  Michael Reagan is seeing ghosts.  Also this from Rich Lowry:

The ability to effectively skewer political opponents with a twinkle of
the eye and remain likeable is a rare political skill. The three best
I’ve ever seen: Reagan, Clinton, Palin.

And check out the London Telegraph — “the new Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.”

UPDATE II:  Lisa Schiffren:

the real dazzle was in the delivery. Since Reagan, there just hasn’t
been a Republican who had any sense of how to dramatically weight a
sentence to make it sound like a slightly exaggerated, dramatic yet
natural version of real, normal speech. Sarah can do it perfectly. And
that’s what it takes to speak over the media, to the people. There just
wasn’t any need for the pundits to translate.


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